sport

Frankie Dettori rides on

Frankie Dettori's manager Peter Burrell has refuted any suggestion that the Italian's new role is an indication that he is thinking of retiring

Channel 4 saw its peak audience figures for the Investec Derby dip last weekend, but announced on Wednesday that the former champion jockey would be joining their presenting team for Royal Ascot and beyond.

Dettori began a new chapter in his colourful career only last season when being appointed as retained rider to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, although he missed the ride on the owner's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve through injury.

He will combine his duties for Al Thani with those of Channel 4, but his focus remains very much in the saddle.

Burrell said: "When he's not riding he'll be on Channel 4. He thought he may as well pass the odd half an hour when he doesn't have a ride doing that than be twiddling his thumbs in the weighing room.

"He'll also be helping to promote Channel 4, make around half a dozen or so appearances on the Morning Line and do a few features.

"We knew the first thing people would say when it was announced was that Frankie must be thinking of retiring, but nothing could be further from the truth.

"It's a hand in glove fit really, Channel 4 have been after us for a while and Frankie felt now was the right time. However, whatever he does will be secondary to his riding commitments.

"He won't be deciding to ride at a meeting just because Channel 4 are there or anything like that."